A recent craft magazine article showed some Artist Trading Cards (ATCs, 2½” x 3½”) made of clear acrylic sheet. By decorating the front and back, there was depth added to the whole image. I loved the idea, so got hold of some pre-cut acrylic ATCs from That’s Crafty. All being well, I’ll be cutting my own soon enough on one of my aforementioned machines.
Anyhoo, the makers of the Pick A Stick Challenge FB group (for art journalers) have come up with a new challenge – the Pick A Stick ATC Challenge. Instead of ten prompts, ATC Challenge has just three, but they still have to be done in order. This month, the steps are:
Add tissue tape or masking tape
Use something transparent
What a chance to use a transparent ATC! But that was the last step… what to do? Work out a new technique of course! Continue reading →
I have two new toys essential machines arriving at some point before the end of the year – and I need to make room for them. This means clearing out some of the ‘might be useful for something’ items, and some of the many samples I’ve made that are lying around from my time on various design teams. Consequently, two things are now happening: visitors to the studio are getting to take away freebies, and I have started to do the ‘something useful’ to other items.
This is a makeover of a wooden trinket box to make it look more like a rusty riveted trunk. Couple of nifty techniques I developed for this altered art – for the ‘sheet’ edges, I hammered the edge of an acrylic sheet at an angle to dent the wood and then shaded with paint. The rivets are Mark Richards Metal Stickers – the silver nailheads – which I have dented in the middle with an embossing tool before painting and gluing in place. The stickers are available from Woodware stockists.
I’m having a go at catching up with some of my art journal online challenges and classes I’ve been neglecting for a few weeks (actually probably months). I’ve caught up with the Wanderlust One Collage Challenge, but part of the deal with that is that I can’t show you it until the last stage at the end of the year. But I have been taking pictures of each stage, so it’ll be worth waiting for!
Then I moved onto May’s Pick A Stick Challenge – ten prompts drawn at random and completed in order. I pulled out the very first journal I started way back in 2011 and found a background to work on – oh how my art journaling has developed! Continue reading →
I’m prepping samples for workshops leading up to Christmas at The Studio to include on my Workshops page and in a future newsletter. First up, in October, we will be altering MDF tealight holders using mixed media techniques – basically anything sticky, inky or painty is a go!
The purpose of this post however, is to demonstrate a bit of behind the scenes work that goes into preparing a workshop. I’m not really an artist that meticulously plans what I am going to do on paper… I’m much more a wade in and see what happens (admittedly having thought about it for a while in between other things). Most times, the work turns out as I’d like. Other times, there’s something that niggles.
This is the starting point – a MDF block with holes drilled in ready for the tealights. Quick gesso undercoat to seal, and then I layered up paint and varnishes to create faux-granite.
So – above is version one. Ornamented with frosted glass stars the granite finish looks fairly convincing (the metallic flecks show up better in real life). But the frosted glass flame shields just didn’t seem to work. Too informal? Too tall? After a little more pondering I decided to create a new flame shield design, with simple lines to give a more formal look. The result below shows a much more cohesive end result, with a 1920s feel, and one which I’d be happy to allow to leave The Studio for pastures new.
This is another art piece I made for the DecoArt shows last month. It didn’t get much screen time though, so I thought I would share it here. I think I made full use of the media and particularly the stencils. I wanted to do something a little different to the serenity type of peace, so I went for the hippy-free-love-peace-man vibe! Continue reading →
I’m exploring different mediums available to me via the DecoArt Helping Artist Program – and yesterday had time to experiment with their Americana Frost Gloss Enamels. These are paints that create a translucent etched glass appearance, and stick to most smooth surfaces. Application is fast and easy, dabbing on with a fine sponge, and relatively quick touch dry time allows layers to be added without too much waiting. After curing for four days, the items can be baked in the oven to make the frosting dishwasher safe. Just one note: the finish is not food safe. Wash up is easy – just rinse with water. And if you go horribly wrong, I’ve found recently applied enamel can be wiped off with rubbing alcohol.
I chose to keep this little piece of altered art under wraps until I’d featured it on my DecoArt TV shows on Hochanda early last month. I’d also left the originals with John the floor manager/set designer to use, and had to make a second set with what was left of my prepped demos. Building on the 6½” high paper-mâché letter forms, I’ve used a lot of mixed media tricks to make this home decor piece. Continue reading →